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City of Florence Italy

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Michelangelo's art in Florence

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MICHELANGELO

Superstar of Florence, he left his mark as a sculptor all over the city: David at the Galleria de Academia, sculpted in an abandoned block of marble near SMN, and Bacchus on the ground floor of the Bargello.

Michelangelo in San Lorenzo in Florence

MICHELANGELO IN SAN LORENZO

The stairs of the Laurentian Library, which flow like voluptuous lava, and the Medici Chapel, with its 4 tombs, including that of Giuliani, the assassin brother of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Notice La Nuit's breasts posed like apples, say her enemies...

The Annunciation in Florence

DECODING THE ANNUNCIATIONS

Florentine artists competed in ingenuity to highlight the virginity of Mary, and it is above all the architecture of the painting that gives the key to it, a key still respected today: a pillar or a bouquet of lilies separate Mary from the angel, in the background, a latticed window and an enclosed garden, in the garden of white flowers, against the garden wall a young tree, which, in 33 years, will be used for the wood of the cross.

Beautiful architecture in Florence

TWO MOST FAMOUS ANNUNCIATIONS

At the San Marco convent, at the top of the stairs leading to the monks' cells. that of Fra Angelico. At the Uffizi Museum, that of Simone Martini, a triptych on a gold background, famous throughout the world.

Historical architecture in Florence

ARCHITECTURE OF THE HISTORIC CENTER

Piazza della Signoria, seat of civil power. its architecture is unbalanced, there is a lack at the bottom on the left. This is the location of the villa of the Pazzi, leaders of one of the city's political parties, who had Giuliani, Lorenzo de' Medici's brother, assassinated, in the middle of the cathedral: in anger, Laurent had their villa razed to the ground with the defense of rebuild.

The medici of Florence

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE MEDICI

Florentine dynasty whose ancestor is Come the Elder, who made the family's fortune in banking, but whose most illustrious offspring is Lorenzo the Magnificent, who almost ruined his family by his taste for 'art. It was he who discovered Michelangelo. The family also gave us 2 queens of France.

Basilica

THE CHURCHES AND THEIR GREAT DEAD

In the first place Santa Croce, with its immense nave. Sentimentally, this is where you have to go: tombs of Michelangelo (even if the Romans boast of having stolen his body???), of Dante, poet and creator of the modern Italian language, Machiavelli, Ghiberti and Galileo . Of course also San Lorenzo for the Medici tombs and the Laurentine staircase by Michelangelo

Dome

A CHURCH IN FIVE CENTURIES

Santa Maria Novella. At Trecento, the walls, but no roof, then the famous dome, when a mathematician-architect, Brunelleschi, discovered the secret of the Romans to hold a dome together, then, in the 19th century only, the white and green marble coating. Inside, chapels and frescoes, notably The Trinity by Masaccio, the first representation with perspective.

Villa Farnesia

UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS OF THE RENAISSANCE

Pay attention, the calculation of centuries is one number behind: the Docento (1200) very Byzantine, century of Duccio; the Trecento, century of Giotto, arrival of the landscape and characters; Quattrocento: arrival of perspective, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Botticelli…; Cinquecento, the superstars: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael. In Venice: Titian, Tintoretto…

Painting

THE MUST OF THE OFFICES

Adoration of the Magi by Benito Gozzoli, the Annunciation by Simone Martini, the Botticelli room. The 3 large paintings were probably wedding gifts: Primavera, a hymn to nature, The Birth of Venus, as for Pallas and the Centaur, we immediately decode the goddess of wisdom calming the primary instincts of the centaur/husband… More far away is the Cabinet of the Medici with priceless mosaic stone vases, sculptures and tables. Finally, a Virgin and Child by Pontormo, the great mannerist of the late Renaissance. Difficult to make a choice in the largest museum dedicated to the Italian Renaissance. All the major artists of this period, from the Docento (still very Byzantine) to the Cinquecento, are exhibited here. Except of course those who worked on frescoes, like Giotto in Padua or Piero della Francesca in Arezzo, now attached to Florence.

Luther Memorial

SAVONAROLA, THE MAD MONK

Florence was, in the 15th century, a free city, richly endowed with art, life there was sweet and free. But the locals fervently welcomed a radical preaching monk, who wanted the people of Florence to return to the Christian life of poverty and chastity.

Basilica Di Santa Croce

FROM THE CELL TO THE BURCH

Savonarola organized pyres into which the inhabitants had to throw books, paintings (Botticelli burned many of his still there in his studio, what a loss!) petticoats, ribbons, combs, etc. But when he attacked to the Pope, he was arrested in his cell in the Convent of San Marco and sentenced to be burned in Piazza della Signoria, where you can see a stele marking the location of the stake.

San Miniato al Monte

HIKE TO SAN MINIATIO

All in black and white, dedicated to the martyrs, and which offers a magnificent view of Florence since it is located on a hill to the south-east of the city. We go there on foot or by bus.

Florence

A GARDEN FOR AN INFANTA

The Boboli Gardens, at the back of the Pitti Palace, were made for the pleasure of the Infanta Eleonora of Toledo, raised in Naples and who was dying of neurasthenia and loneliness by her husband, Cosimo I of Medici. It should be seen in spring or summer when it is in bloom. At the bottom of the terraces: rocky grotto of Buontalenti, sheltering a Venus by Giambologna. Cosimo took advantage of these new developments to build the secret passage that led him from his palace to the Piazza della Signoria via the Ponte Vecchio without once setting foot in the street where trouble often broke out.

Palazzo Pitti

PITTI MUSEUM

Spectacular portrait of Eléonore by Bronzino, magnificent Raphael and the first reclining nude in Western art, the Venus of Giorgione.

Florence Bridge

WALKING AROUND

The Ponte Vecchio, of course, with its jewelry stalls, and around 5 p.m. mingle with the Italian tradition of the "Passeggiata", everyone is out for a joyful social and aperitif stroll.

Florence Night Cityscape

BATTLES FOR THE DOME PIAZZA

Giotto, despite being a superstar at the time, will only be allocated the first floor of the Campanile. For the Baptistery, it is the battle for the bronze doors, between Ghiberti and Brunelleschi. Ghiberti wins. “The Gate of Paradise” is his. Finally, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Novella: the walls and the nave in the Trecento, the dome in the Quattrocento, the marble covering in the 19th century. For years, it rained in this roofless building…

Streets of Florence

RANDOM FACADES

Walk with your nose in the air: niches, ornate altars, small sculptures, including the 6 Medici palaces, and on their villa near San Lorenzo, a fine example of the stonework that gives a severe and defensive on the outside, given the number of civil wars and political assassinations that shook the city.

Sightseeing in Florence

THE MUST PLACES

The Piazza del Duomo is home to the Campanile, the Santa Maria Novella Cathedral and the Baptistery. Coming out of the open-air studio where he was sculpting his David, on the side of the cathedral, Michelangelo saw the new bronze door that had just been installed on the Baptistery, and cried out. “it’s the door to paradise”!, a name that has stuck. You can see the sculpted self-portrait of Ghiberti, the artist who won the competition for the design and manufacture of bronze plaques.

Noodles

AT THE TABLE: TERROIR PRODUCTS

Let yourself be seduced by local products. Forget pizza, go for tomatoes, mozzarella, cod and beans in olive oil, but especially pasta galore, often sprinkled with grated white truffle, a Tuscan specialty. Whatever the menu, let yourself go to taste the famous chianti, red or white, which has now reached an international reputation.